Unique Issues

The Rest of the Story

I gave my friend Sean a call the other day to see how he was getting along.

“Great,” he said. “In fact, I’m doing really well. You knew that I’m working on my Master’s degree, didn’t you?”

Yes, I knew Sean was doing well. I always make it a habit to inquire about his well-being. Since I met him in 2010, shortly after his return from two tours of military service in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marine Corp, he has become someone I often think about.

When I asked about his field of study, he shared, “My area of interest is Engineering Technology Management. While I’m finishing my studies, I’m also working at the university’s engineering department in the study of micro- and nanofabrication. They call it micro-electric systems.”

Rewind back to 2011.

My daughter, Krista, called me about a year after I first met Sean. She was very concerned about him. His job in the military was in forward reconnaissance. As a result, he had been in close proximity to multiple IED explosions. He shared with her that inattentiveness, memory problems, and coping skills were causing him difficulty in his attempts to regain a normal life and resume his dream of attending college to become a physicist or engineer.

He also mentioned that he had been diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and probable traumatic brain injury due to blast concussions. His doctors had recently advised him to think about choosing a less academically challenging career option. In Sean’s words, “They think engineering will not be an attainable goal for me as I am now damaged goods, and they say, it will probably get worse.”

Krista, who had recently been trained in SOI Basic and Intermediate, quickly told Sean, “You need information! Let my mom test you using the SOI and see how your intellectual abilities really look! If there are weaknesses, you will know it. But, you will also know your strengths, and how to use those strong areas to develop your weak areas. You can’t just assume that your experience will be the same as every other person just because you have gone through similar events. At least this way, you’ll know and be able to build from there!”

Sean was willing to give it a try, Continue reading “The Rest of the Story”